In Portland, Ore., urban chickens rule the roost

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Associated press

PORTLAND, Ore. — North Williams Avenue is a street with a soundtrack like most any other in the neighborhoods of Portland. There's the swishing of bikes, the rustling of leaves, the whirring of motors.

But then there's something else under those familiar notes: A tiny warble of clucks coming from a chicken coop set in a front yard.

Newspapers across the country have been splashing urban and suburban chicken-keeping across their front pages. It's the latest thing, they say. But in Portland, it's old hat. For the past few years, chicken-keeping has found its place here.

It seems odd at first; a background beat added to the wrong song. But if you listen as you walk along the streets, it's a chorus that starts to sound familiar.

Portland Mayor Sam Adams has two hens. Spots in chicken-raising classes fill up nearly as fast as the nurseries in North Portland can plan them. Hatcheries have trouble keeping up with demand. Residents dedicate blogs to their chickens.

And late last month, hundreds of people turned out for the Sixth Annual Tour de Coop, a self-guided tour of 26 chicken coops.

"It's inspiring," said Naomi Coplin, one of the chicken-watchers as she looked around at the setup just off North Williams Avenue.



Localism vs globalism: two world views collide

Source: The Independant (UK), Sept 27, 2010

Stop economic growth in its tracks, start living locally, at a slower pace, and share more – that was the remarkable demand yesterday at the beginning of the Sustainable Planet Forum, a three-day international conference on environmental issues in the French city of Lyon, which The Independent is co-sponsoring.

In the radical corner was Paul Ariès, one of France's more colourful political figures, an anti-globalisation campaigner who edits a magazine entitled Le Sarkophage, which is a French pun on the word for coffin and the name of the President of the Republic, Nicolas Sarkozy. (You can guess the content.)

In the Conservative corner was Peter Ainsworth, the former shadow Environment Secretary who left Parliament at the last election after 18 years as the MP for East Surrey. He is active on numerous environmental issues and has long been seen by environmentalists in Britain as the epitome of a Green Tory.



Die-In Montréal (fier commanditaire Mercedez-Benz)


Obama’s fiscal stimulus no substitute for cheap oil

By Jeff Rubin, Globe & Mail, Sept 22, 2010

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with President Obama’s earmarking $50-billion (U.S.) for new transport infrastructure, or extending the Bush tax cuts to low- and middle-income American households—provided the country can afford them. But already burdened with a record budget deficit of over $1-trillion, most Americans probably think Washington’s already done far too much for the economy as it is.

After all, there seems precious little to show for all the fiscal stimulus. The U.S. jobless rate seems stuck at around 9.5 per cent, and the GDP remains miles below its pre-recession peak. And although the economy is indeed growing, its pace is a shadow of past recoveries, and a fraction of last cycle’s growth rates.

It’s those very economic failings that compel the White House to try to bring even further stimulus to bear on the U.S. economy. But implicit in this strategy is the belief that today’s economy can be force-fed more government spending and tax cuts to achieve yesterday’s rate of growth.



Update (Urban chickens) - Mise à jour (Poules urbaines)

Sept 20, 2010 - Post Carbon Greater Moncton has just completed its one-year Urban Farm Project. The project was successful. We are now in the process of preparing a report which will be addressed to the city of Moncton before December 2010. In the report, we will recommend a new regulatory framework for urban farming, including the raising of a small number of hens. We are also currently consulting with key groups such as the SPCA.


Le 20 sept 2010 - Grand Moncton Post Carbone vient de compléter un projet pilote d’un an avec le consentement de la Commission d’aménagement régionale. Tout s’est très bien passé. Nous sommes maintenant en train de préparer notre rapport qui sera adressé à la ville de Moncton avant la fin décembre. Dans ce rapport, nous recommanderons un nouveau cadre réglementaire pour permettre l’élevage de poules en ville. Nous profitons de l’automne pour consulter certains groupes clés comme le SPCA.

New publication / Nouvelle publication

James Schlesinger, President Carter’s Energy Secretary, wrote the foreword to a book written by Dr Robert Hirsch, a former US official who predicts a fall of the oil production within 5 years.

Never before has a high-ranking political figure like Schlesinger given his support to such a prognosis.

The book will be published in the US on October the 1st. Here is an exclusive interview with its author.

Dr. Robert Hirsch has a unique place in the ‘peak oil’ issue. Back in 2005, he was the main author of the first pessimistic report ever published by a public administration (presentation on Wikipedia).

Not any public administration : the Department of Energy of President George Bush.

Robert Hirsch has been a manager of petroleum exploratory research at Exxon, a senior staff member at the RAND Corporation, and director of the US research program on nuclear fusion energy.

His 2005 conclusions did not get any attention from any the mainstream or financial media.

Le Monde Interview with Robert Hirsch